Take Back the Taxi Movement D.O.A. No Thanks to Empathetic Pansies


The New York Post‘s profile of Dr. Mitchell Lee, the guy who reported an irregular fare increase his cab driver tried to get away with to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, is wonderful. He saved everyone money! He’s a hero! Or could’ve been a hero. A big one. Only until you get to the end, when you realize that what should’ve been a revolution in the way we take our cabs here isn’t exactly going anywhere.

Lee seems like a nice enough guy, and all he did was call out the driver who tried to con him by increasing the fare. And then it turned out his driver, Wasim Khalid Cheema, took $40K worth of passengers’ cash for a ride over time. Now, if your driver needs to increase the fare, a button will appear on the touchscreen in the back seat, which riders press to acknowledge and agree to the fare change — thus potentially saving riders decent cash. This one guy did us all a favor! In fact, now would’ve been the time to launch a full-scale war on all the shitty things we hate about cabs that just straight-up irk us — when hacks are on their phones, when they groan about going to Brooklyn, when they simply won’t go to Brooklyn, etc. — except Lee actually had to go on and feel shitty about it:

Lee actually showed a shred of sympathy for cabdrivers, noting he has a family member who drives a livery car. “Besides dentists and lawyers, cabbies have the hardest jobs because everyone hates them,” Lee said. “Sometimes I feel sorry for them.”

This guy isn’t a “hero” because he saved you five bucks. But he is remarkable, in that a New Yorker was empathetic to the struggles of someone whose job absolutely sucks, and somehow, the New York Post kept it in there. Related: Your rage is probably misplaced in this situation.

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